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District 16

Alder Jael Currie

Image of Alder Jael Currie,
Council Vice President

Alder Jael Currie,
Council Vice President

Contact Information

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Currie’s Updates

Updates, Meeting & Event Highlights for the Week of November 13, 2022

November 13, 2022 6:53 PM

Greetings friends and neighbors,

The Common Council will meet for 2023 Capital and Operating Budget deliberations beginning Tuesday 11/15. 

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CAPITAL BUDGET AMENDEMENTS OF INTEREST

  • $6M more in City support for the Madison Public Market (MPM)
    • A robust tax incremental financing (TIF) district on the East Side has the resources to help close a $5.2 million financing gap for the MPM to be developed at a city-owned building at 200 N. First St.
    • This budget amendment proposes using existing revenue (from above mentioned TIF) to fund the remainder of the construction cost needs for the MPM. Importantly, this specific tax incremental district (TID 36) is designed to fund projects in the area of the proposed location for the MPM. GO Borrowing (money the city will borrow to spend on public services) is not recommended to fund this amendment.
  • $1M to support The River Food Pantry
    • This budget amendment proposes a $1 million grant to the River Food Pantry funded through GO borrowing for the organization's capital campaign to purchase and develop a facility for pantry operations.
    • The River estimates total project costs at $6.7M. In addition to the proposed $1M City grant, the Dane County budget includes $1.5M towards the project, pending County Board adoption of the budget
  • $168K for three squad vehicles to support Madison Police Department
    • This budget amendment adds $168,000 in GF (general fund) GO Borrowing for 3 unmarked squad vehicles and related equipment for the positions.
    • The 2023 executive budget includes funding for six additional police officer positions which will start in the 2023 Preservice Academy. The vehicles will be put in service in 2024 when the officers are scheduled to start in the field.

This link contains all of the proposed amendments to the 2023 Capital Budget

2023 Common Council Proposed Capital Total = $378,710,074


OPERATING BUDGET AMENDEMENTS OF INTEREST

The following are amendments that were adopted by the Finance Committee 10/31/22:

  • Achieve wage parity for general municipal employees
    • This budget amendment will update the schedule of the wage parity "catch up" increases for general municipal employees (GMEs). The 2023 executive budget includes a 1% wage parity increase for GMEs for the full year.
    • The amendment would:

1) Delay the increase to begin mid-year (effective July 9, 2023) and increase the amount from 1% to 2%

2) Add an additional 1% wage parity increase for the last two months of the year (effective October 29, 2023), and 3) offset the costs in the general fund by delaying hiring for new positions.

  • In total, the GME wage parity increase would be 3% instead of the 1% proposed in the executive budget.
  • Support the Double Dollars Program
    • This budget amendment would provide match funds to the $12,500 increase already included in the 2023 executive operating budget.
    • Spending of this increase will contingent upon Dane County matching the funds in its adopted budget.
    • If the City adopts this amendment and the County does not, City funds will not be spent for this purpose.
  • Funding for an FTE PFAS Environmental Health Specialist
    • The County Executive budget includes an $186,000 PFAS initiative to be housed in Public Health. The funding will be used to create a testing program with the intent to encourage more households to participate in sampling and testing their private well water.
    • This funding also supports the creation of a 0.65 FTE ($53,445) Environmental Health Specialist with responsibilities for outreach, education, mailing, delivery/pickup of sample kits, supportive interpretation of PFAS results, mitigation resources, and data collection. The remaining funding will support miscellaneous program expenses, website development and translation to improve communication on PFAS.
    • An additional $28,778 is required to make the County supported position a 1.0 FTE position.
      • A 1.0 FTE position will allow for additional outreach and education activities, community meetings, support for sample collection and interpretation of test results.

The following is an amendment that failed at the 10/31/22 Finance Committee Meeting but has been re-introduced:

  • Increasing alder pay
    • This amendment would increase the annual pay for alders to $31,793. For purposes of this proposal, the calculations are based on the City's determination that alders are assumed to work 1,082 hours for each year of their term. The increases would become effective April 18, 2023.
    • The annual cost of the increase is $379,300. The cost in 2023 is $269,870. The cost could be lower if any alders chose to receive less than the allowable amount or decline their salary altogether.

The following are newly proposed amendments by Council members:

CARES (Community Alternative Response Emergency Services) program expansion – 3 proposed amendments

  • Amendment #1: Mid-Year CARES Expansion
    • This budget amendment would fund an expansion of the CARES program (effective July 2023), which will provide an additional team during the peak hours of behavioral health emergency needs, from 11am to 7pm, Monday through Friday.
    • The amendment also creates a Program Manager position, assumed at the Division or Assistant Chief level, to provide for the overall supervision and management of all CARES related activity. Currently, this role is being filled by an Assistant Chief as an extra duty.??
  • Amendment #2: Finance Committee Amendment #22; Start dates for new positions
    • This amendment updates the schedule for delaying certain new positions (Engineering – Maintenance Mechanic; Fire – Emergency Management Coordinator; Fire – Fire Protection Engineer; Parks – Program Coordinator (Parks Alive) Police – Program Assistant (Records))
    • This amendment will 1) Reduce the delay for the Fire Emergency Management coordinator from 5.5 months to 3 months and 2) Increase the delay for the Fire Protection Engineering from 3 months to 5.5 months.
  • Amendment #3: Mid-Year CARES Expansion - Remove COPS Grant
    • This amendment will create a 1.0 FTE Community Paramedic position and a 1.0 FTE Program Manager position, effective July 2023.
    • $41,000 in purchased services will fund a contracted Crisis Worker for half of the year.
    • The amendment proposes a reallocation to the Fire Department by removing $94,902 from the Police Department general fund budget as well as $277,069 of revenue and expenditures from the Police Department grant fund budget for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) 2021 Cops Hiring Program grant.

This link contains all of the proposed amendments to the 2023 Operating Budget

Maximum allowed levy/spending for 2023 = $273,684,407

Finance committee adopted amendments = $273,413,811

Remaining levy/potential spending = $270,596

Amendments proposed from remaining levy = $824,588

It is not possible to adopt all the budget amendments currently proposed. This is due to the total of the amendments equaling $824,588, which would result in exceeding the City's maximum allowed levy by $553,992. Therefore, the Council will once again have tough decisions on its hand as deliberations begin this week.

The Common Council Meeting of Tuesday 11/15 is reserved for public testimony on the budget. Wednesday 11/16 is reserved for Common Council deliberation. A meeting on Thursday 11/17 will only occur if the Council is unable to finish their deliberations on Wednesday. If necessary, the Thursday meeting will be either in-person only (MMB 215) or virtual, depending on a vote of the Council on 11/15.

Common Council Meeting/Public Hearing – Tuesday 11/15 5:30pm

Common Council Meeting/Budget Deliberations – Wednesday 11/16 5:30pm

Common Council Meeting/Budget Deliberations (IF NEEDED) – Thursday 11/16 5:30pm


Other City Meetings week of 11/13/22

Transportation Policy and Planning Board (Monday 11/14 at 5:00 PM)

  • Includes a Complete Green Streets update and Passenger Rail Introduction

Sustainable Madison Committee (Tuesday 11/15 at 10:30 AM)

  • Sustainability Plan Updates

Multicultural Affairs Committee (Wednesday 11/16 at 11:30 AM)

Police and Fire Commission (Thursday 11/17 at 3:00 PM)

  • The Commission will host a ceremony recognizing graduates from 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 classes.

To see the full list of City meetings scheduled for the week, please consult the City meeting schedule.


Door Creek Watershed Study and Public Information Meetings

The City, in partnership with Brown and Caldwell, held its first virtual Public Information Meeting (PIM) on 11/5/22. The meeting recording is not yet available but the PowerPoint Presentation that was reviewed and discuss is available for review. Some key takeaways I got from the meeting are as follows:

  • While the 2018 flooding most heavily impacted West Madison and neighboring villages/towns, East Madison was also impacted residentially and commercially
  • Surprisingly, flooding in the Door Creek Watershed is not predominately caused by lake levels but part of stormwater/sewer backups
  • Watershed studies present limitations such as not being a quality water study, identifying the need for expensive repairs to infrastructure as well as reliance on property owners for solutions
  • Data and information that results from watershed studies does not necessarily pause/delay impending developments such as single family homes and apartment complexesa
  • WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
    • We need you to report online to inform the watershed study! Self-report online survey documents and share data during rain events at www.cityofmadison.com/flooding
    • Understand local drainage and how to protect your property  www.cityofmadison.com/floodprotection
    • Consider supplemental insurance
      • Contact your private insurance agent for more information
    • Have a plan to protect yourself during a flash flood warning.
    • Become a better steward of your watershed. Examples of this include:

The next PIM is scheduled to take place in Spring 2023. Questions and comments can be emailed to the Project Contact, Jojo O'Brien, at any time:

Jojo O'Brien, City of Madison Engineering Division

608-266-9721; jobrien@cityofmadison.com

You can also follow the study at its website, where PIM information, registration, meeting recordings and other opportunities for public involvement will be posted.  


Events

Please join D16's very own Hmong Institute for its Noj Tsiab (pre-New Year) and Thanksgiving Celebration! The Hmong Institute is hosting the Hmong Noj Tsiab (Pre-New Year) Celebration on Thursday November, 17th from 10am-1pm at 4402 Femrite Drive, Madison. Noj tsiab pronounced "naw chia" is the meal held the night before the Hmong New Year festival begins. Noj Tsiab and Noj Peb Caug (New Year Festival) are traditionally celebrated after the harvest season. The Noj Tsiab tradition constitutes ritual activities such as a hu plig (soul calling), lwm qaib (bless the new year while washing away all negative energy with the old year), giving thanks to the ancestor's spirit for a good harvest and for keeping the family healthy. A meal or feast is then served to the guests. Please RSVP to May Lor (may.lor@thehmonginstitute.org)

Teejop & Beyond: Celebrating Native Nations of the Great Lakes, October - December 2022: Eight Native presenters will lead programs highlighting both traditional and contemporary practices, stories, and community relationships. Upcoming programs include:

  • 11/9: Indigenous Birth and Traditional Parenting presentation by Raeanne Madison(Crane Clan, Bois Forte Band Ojibwe Nation)
  • 11/12: Art Walk in Monona with Kristie GoForth (Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians)
  • 11/19: Family History Writing Workshops with Sherman Funmaker (Bear Clan Elder, Ho-Chunk Nation)

Learn more: Website | Graphics + Photos | Press Release

Noise mitigation study meeting at DCRA - November 14th: The Dane County Regional Airport is currently in process of updating its noise mitigation plan as result of the 115th Air National Guard transitioning from F-16s to F-35s. This is FAA Part 150 process used to determine eligibility for and fund sound mitigation inside the airport's mapped noise contours. The second open house of the noise study will be held Monday November 14th from 6-8pm at the Dane County Regional Airport (between terminal doors 1 and 2). Information about the study process and materials from the first open house are on the DCRA's noise mitigation plan (Part 150) webpage.

Musician and activist Lyla June to speak on Indigenous rights, revitalizing ancient Indigenous land practices at free event on November 14th: Bringing her perspective as a woman of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages, June's 90-minute talk will include both lecture and Q&A portions. The event, titled "An Evening with Lyla June: The Power of Indigenous Knowledge in an Age of Neocolonialism," is free and open to the public, with no tickets necessary. Combining her personal experience with her studies in human ecology and Native American pedagogy, June advocates for Indigenous rights, the use of traditional land stewardship practices and mending from historical trauma. Patrons can learn more about the upcoming, free talk with June click HERE!

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims: The City of Madison along with the Vision Zero Stakeholder Task Force will commemorate World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims the week of November 14-21. The week features a memorial for people killed over the last 5 years that will be out all week in front of the Madison Municipal Building. Here is our news release about the event and week. Everyone is invited to a short press conference to remember victims of traffic crashes and renew the call for support to eliminate serious and fatal crashes. 

  • Date: Tuesday, November 15th
  • Time: 10:30 AM
  • Location: Madison Municipal Building, 215 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd (outside)

Birding Backpacks + Madison Audubon Event, Always Available + November 15th: Madisonians who are bird curious can check out a Birding Backpack from Madison Public Library for up to one week. Backpacks include binoculars and field guides for one adult and one child, as well as a local birding guide that highlights locations close to each library. This project was made possible thanks to donations from the Feminist Bird Club - Madison and the Madison Public Library Foundation.

On November 15, we'll be hosting an event in collaboration with Madison Audubon to highlight the connections between race and birds with Brigitte Fielder at Meadowridge Library. The UW-Madison professor will weave together the historical context of antislavery imagery, African American folklore, children's stories about abolitionist views, and more, as she illuminates human-animal relationships that illustrate Black people's resistance to oppression.

Learn more: Birding Backpacks Website | Graphics + Photos | Audubon Event Page


Announcements

Healthcare.gov Open Enrollment Kick-Off: The Open Enrollment period for 2023 health insurance on Healthcare.gov kicks off on November 1st, 2022 and runs through January 15th, 2023. Consumers must sign up by December 15th for coverage to start on January 1st.

Madison Public Library is partnering with Covering Wisconsin to get the word out about this timeline to ensure that all Dane County residents know about affordable and low-cost health insurance options available to them. They are also hosting two open enrollment events at the following libraries:

  • December 3, 10am-2pm - Hawthorne Library, 2707 E. Washington Ave
  • December 10, 10am-2pm - Pinney Library, 516 Cottage Grove Rd.

Feel free to attend the press event to learn more (see attached release), or contact Courtney Harris, Covering Wisconsin Outreach & Partner Relations Manager; 608-262-1838; charris2@wisc.edu for more information to share with your constituents, neighbors, or service/program recipients. More information is available on the Covering Wisconsin web site, including downloadable promotion materials. Free, local, unbiased help is available statewide. Consumers can visit WisCovered.com to learn more, or call the 2-1-1 Helpline (877-947-2211) to find an expert near them.            

Public Health Madison & Dane County Violence Prevention Speaker Series Event, November 16, 2022: In partnership with Rape Crisis Center (RCC), PHMDC's Violence Prevention Unit is hosting a virtual session on sexual assault prevention and services. The virtual session is free but registration is required: RCC Speaker Series Registration link. The session will be recorded and made available on public health's Violence Prevention Unit's webpage. This is the sixth of a "Violence Prevention & Intervention Speaker Series". The upcoming session with Dana Pellebon from Rape Crisis Center (RCC) will provide information about their outreach, education, and prevention programs, services and advocacy for those harmed by sexual violence, and information on sexual violence.

The series will be sharing the latest violence prevention and intervention strategies, methodologies, and theories. It will also highlight VP Coalition members and the work that is being done in Madison and Dane County. It is open to everyone in the community!

Be well,

Jael




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